Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


Ertayne, Irritaine

Hyrcania, also known as Hyrcana, was an ancient region located in the northeastern part of ancient Persia (modern-day Iran) along the southern coast of the Caspian Sea.

Hyrcania was, according to the Alliterative Morte Arthure, allied to Lucius the RomanArthur’s enemy.

Hyrcania | 0 to the 9th century AD

Parthian and Sassanian Periods | 1st – 7th centuries
During the Parthian and Sassanian periods, Hyrcania was part of the Persian Empire. It played a role in the empire’s administrative and economic structure, contributing to the wealth and resources of the Persian rulers. The region’s strategic location along the Caspian Sea and its access to the Silk Road made it an important center for trade and commerce.

Arab Conquest and Islamic Period | 7th century
With the Arab conquests in the seventh century, including the Islamic Caliphate’s expansion into Persia, Hyrcania came under Islamic rule. The Arab influence led to the spread of Islam in the region. The local culture likely underwent changes as a result of the Arab conquest, and the region became part of the broader Islamic civilization.

Medieval Period | 8th – 9th centuries
In the medieval period, Hyrcania remained a part of various Islamic caliphates and later dynasties that ruled over Persia. The Caspian Sea continued to be a vital region for trade and economic activities. Coastal cities like Gorgan likely played a role in maritime trade during this time.

Cultural and Economic Exchange
Hyrcania’s location between the Caspian Sea and the Persian plateau made it a cultural crossroads. It likely experienced exchanges with various cultures, including those from Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Persian heartland.

Political Changes
The political landscape of the region might have seen changes during the medieval period due to the rise and fall of various Islamic dynasties. The Samanid and later the Ghaznavid and Seljuk empires played significant roles in the political and cultural developments of Persia during this time.

Le Morte Darthur | Sir Thomas Malory, 1469-1470
Alliterative Morte Arthure | c. 1400